Andrew Murphy: Do It For the Murphdog

June 24, 2019

Interview by

Valerie Lopez

Article by

Richard Goodwin

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This week, a pre­vi­ous guest returns, fresh off being crowned the 2019 Fun­ni­est Per­son in Austin. We can’t defin­i­tive­ly say he won it just to up his creds for the inter­view, but we’re excit­ed to catch up with Andrew Mur­phy at this for­tu­itous time nonetheless.

Mur­phy set aside the accom­pa­ny­ing winner’s cape and sat down with Valerie Lopez at the apart­ment he shares with Chris Tellez to get us up to date on how things have changed for him since we last spoke in 2017. He’s been on a tear, host­ing the pop­u­lar The Joke of Paint­ing with Avery Moore, and has been per­form­ing and open­ing for big names like For­tune Feim­ster, Bri­an Posehn, and The Lucas Broth­ers. At the time of this episode release, we’ve also just wrapped the 2019 Moon­tow­er Com­e­dy fes­ti­val, and Mur­phy – as usu­al – appeared mul­ti­ple times there as well.

If you’re good at com­e­dy, you can have a lot of fun doing it; there’s just a lot more strug­gle [in New York & Los Ange­les ver­sus Austin].” Andrew Mur­phy

At moments like these, it’s often top of mind to begin won­der­ing if an exo­dus from Austin is in the mak­ing for some­one on an upward tra­jec­to­ry. Is Mur­phy ready to pack up and head to one of the coasts? Thank­ful­ly not. He’s too big of a fan of Austin’s cul­ture and com­e­dy com­mu­ni­ty. If you’re good at com­e­dy, you can have a lot of fun doing it; there’s just a lot more strug­gle [in New York & Los Ange­les],” Mur­phy says, suit­ing his lifestyle and where he is in his pro­fes­sion­al growth. He heaps praise on Cap City Com­e­dy and The Velvee­ta Room, call­ing them two of the great­est clubs in the coun­try: This scene got me this real­ly cool oppor­tu­ni­ty, and I want to rel­ish it a bit more.”

[The Austin] scene got me this real­ly cool oppor­tu­ni­ty, and I want to rel­ish it a bit more.” Andrew Mur­phy

As his con­nec­tions and suc­cess grow, Mur­phy does admit that he sucks” at some of the nec­es­sary evils of build­ing many types of careers: net­work­ing, and trav­el. He’s com­mit­ted to doing more of both, and hon­ing his skills at reach­ing out to peo­ple and places. Show­cas­es like The Joke of Paint­ing–cel­e­brat­ing its 2 year anniver­sary – cer­tain­ly help here, bring­ing estab­lished and grow­ing comics up on stage to try their hands at lead­ing a Bob Ross-style paint­ing les­son, some­times with audi­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion. Paint­ing is now being run at The Velvee­ta Room, which also recent­ly host­ed a Fun­ni­est Andrew in Austin” (there real­ly are a lot of Andrews in the scene) show. There’s an ele­ment in each show of yet anoth­er skill Mur­phy claims he’s not yet mas­tered: impro­vi­sa­tion. Paint­ing often opens with he and Moore cri­tiquing real­ly shit­ty paint­ings”; one out­ing was a round of trounc­ing awful paint­ings of The Beatles. 

Events like these help build Murphy’s dusty old Rolodex”, even if he’s not laser-focused on work­ing that angle. While he repeat­ed­ly notes his lack of plan­ning, Mur­phy simul­ta­ne­ous­ly drops mul­ti­ple hints of things on his buck­et list”, includ­ing cre­at­ing and host­ing more shows, and nail­ing at least 3 celebri­ty impres­sions: not even for the stage; I just want to be good at par­ties.” He also wants to get bet­ter at being more present” dur­ing his sets, respond­ing to – if not inter­act­ing with – the audi­ence to a greater degree. He vows to get out of his head a bit more, with more out­ward focus, ver­sus inner per­se­ver­a­tions, like whether his stage pres­ence is work­ing: I am awk­ward. A whole lot of not know­ing what to do with my arms over here.”

Murphy’s also con­tin­u­ing to branch out into more medi­ums and projects. He recent­ly taped an episode of Cari­na Magyar’s Thanks Acad­e­my pod­cast with his broth­er, review­ing For­rest Gump. He did a mul­ti-episode run on Chris Cubass pod­cast Can­celed, review­ing the deserved­ly short-lived John Malkovich pirate show Cross­bones. He hints at tak­ing an act­ing class, and talks of writ­ing and/​or direct­ing a web series or sketch project, some­thing that will involve gath­er­ing local comics togeth­er, to col­lab­o­rate on cre­at­ing and releas­ing even more and bet­ter content. 

That sounds an awful lot like net­work­ing to us; maybe Andrew Mur­phy is fur­ther ahead than he thinks. 

Catch Andrew Mur­phy all over Austin, and at The Joke of Paint­ing; the next one is June 24th!

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